What's It Wednesday #23
“It’s a gas”, is an old expression. In fact, it came from Irish Slang from the early 1900s that used the term “gas” to mean a joke or something fun, funny, or entertaining. The expression was later picked up by the African-American Jazz community in the 50s. Perhaps it had something to do with nitrous oxide, a.k.a "laughing gas" which has been around since the 1700's. It’s the scientist in me, I had to take a stab at it.
Do you remember my friend Sandy's beautiful antique and vintage stoves that graced her home and gardens? Click HERE if you missed that post. Well, she and her husband are collectors of Petroliana. Petroliana is the collection of things related to gas stations such as old signs, gas pumps, or fuel advertisements.
Sandy's yard is chock full of wonderfully placed vintage American gas company signs. This Gulf sign seemed to have met a few bullets in its time.
The Gulf Oil Company was a major oil company from the 1900's until the 1980's. I remember, when I was little girl, sitting in the backseat of my parent's car in the gas station watching the gas attendants pump the gas and loving the smell of gasoline. Come on, I know I am not the only one who loved that smell. Oh those were the days!
This sign was made for the Sinclair Oil Corporation which was founded my Harry F. Sinclair in 1916. "H-C" gasoline was one of the petroleum products produced by the company in the early 1920's and could be found throughout the midwestern region of the United States. H-C was one of the new high octane gasoline products of the day made for motor cars and the initials stood for "Houston Concentrate".
Talk about a walk down memory lane. Texaco (The Texas Company) is also a very well known American oil company. The company was founded in Beaumont, Texas in 1901. At that time the name was "Texas Fuel Company". Ok someone out there must remember the Texaco jingle?
In 1938, Texaco introduced a premium grade fuel they called Sky Chief. This gas was not pumped from the red pump, instead it had it's own silver gas pump. In 1954, the company added a detergent additive called "Petrox" to its "Sky Chief" gasoline. This additive helped to prevent engine knock in the newer high-compression engine cars. Hey I remember when car engines use to knock. As a kid, I thought that was a pretty cool sound. I am sure my parents did not.
My fondest memories of "service stations" was on long family road trips, where I would count the number of Exxon Tigers or Flying Red Horses of the Mobil service stations we passed.
What are your fondest memories of the gas stations of your youth?
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